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Monday, 19 February, 2001, 20:11 GMT
Ask Albert - Number 5
Ask Albert

Ian Jones from Wales asks:

Which club has been more successful in its history - Crystal Palace or Burnley?

Burnley win the argument, as league champions twice (1921 and 1960) and FA Cup winners once (1914). Palace have never won the cup, and their championship successes were in the lower divisions - Div 3 south in 1921, Div 2 in 1979 and the "new" First Division in 1994.

Jim Colvill from England asks:

What is the highest transfer fee paid for a player in each decade from the 1950s?

1950s: Albert Quixall, Sheffield Wednesday to Man Utd, Septmeber 1958 (45,000);

1960s: Allan Clarke, Leicester to Leeds, June 1969 (165,000);

19702: Trevor Francis, Birmingham to Nottingham Forest, February 1979);

1980s: Chris Waddle, Tottenham to Marseille, July 1989 (4.25m);

1990s: Nicolas Anelka, Arsenal to Real Madrid, August 1999 (22.5m).

Nathan Garratt from England asks:

How many profesdsionals have scored three own goals in a match? I ask this because I compleed this particular hat-trick in 20 minutes as a sub.

You're in a class of your own, Nathan. Two own goals by one player are the most recorded in a pro game - by Aston Villa's Chris Nicholl at Leicester (Div 1, March 20, 1976) and Liverpool's Jamie Carragher against Man Utd (Premiership, September 11, 1999).

Steven Cottis from England asks:

How did you get your job, Albert? It must be brilliant!

It's a long story, Steven - 32 years long! I joined Match of the Day as researcher and statistician in 1968, having previously reported football for newspapers and edited football books and the Chelsea FC programme for 25 years. It's still fun, finding things out about the Great Game.

John Pagen from Liverpool asks:

If a player who is standing behind the opposition goal, when the ball is played forward, re-enters the field and scores, what is the decision?

He would be given "offside", and could get a yellow card for ungentlemanly conduct. Or the ref might let him off with a good telling off.

Ed from England asks:

Who was the first footballer to represent England at all levels?

Terry Venables, who was capped by England in schoolboy, youth, amateur, U-23, and full internationals.

Gary Hamblin from England asks:

Are Chelsea's and Fulham's grounds the closest in England?

Stamford Bridge and Craven Cottage are nearly two miles apart. The closest grounds in the Premier League are those of Liverpool and Everton, situated either side of Stanley Park. In Scotland, Dundee (Dens Park) and Dundee United (Tannadice) are literally next door neighbours.

Junior Whistler from Birminham asks:

Are the Premier League referees still wearing those earpieces, to be in touch with their assistants on the line, as they did last season?

No, the earpiee idea didn't work as well as they hoped and has been dropped. Their assitants can still contact them by "buzzers" oin their flags, and fourth officials have the same sort of contact with the man in the middle, to point out something important that they may have missed.

WJ Baxter from Inverness asks:

Which Scottish clubs have competed in the English FA Cup?

Queen's Park were FA Cup finalists in seasons 1883-1884 and 1884-1885. And there were seven Scottish participants in 1886-1887: Queen's Park, Third Lanark, Hearts, Renton, Cowlair, Partick Thistle and Rangers (who reached the semi-final). Then the Scottish FA put the block on their clubs entering the "English Cup".

Mick asks:

Am I on a winner with a 125 bet that Bayern Munich became the fourth club to lift all three European trophies when they won the Uefa Cup in 1996?

You can collect the money, Mick - you're right about Bayern Munich. The previous club to win all three Euro competitions were Ajax, Barcelona and Juventus.

WJ Baxter from Inverness asks:

Which Scottish clubs have competed in the English FA Cup?

Queen's Park were FA Cup finalists in seasons 1883-1884 and 1884-1885. And there were seven Scottish participants in 1886-1887: Queen's Park, Third Lanark, Hearts, Renton, Cowlair, Partick Thistle and Rangers (who reached the semi-final). Then the Scottish FA put the block on their clubs entering the "English Cup".

Mark Wilson from Scotland asks:

What are the most consecutive and competitive victories achieved by a new manager?

There is no known reference to the "most winning start" by a manager, but Martin O'Neill's 11 in a row with Celtic has got me working on it. The best unbeaten run for a manager was Arsenal's 12 wins and five draws at the start of the 1947-1948 league season under Tom Whittaker.

John Smalley from Lincoln asks:

What is the lowest division from which a player has played in England's first team?

Three players from the old Third Division have played for England since the war: centre-forward Tommy Lawton (Notts County) in 1948, goalkeeper Reg Matthews (Coventry) in 1956 and another centre-forward Johnny Byrne (Crystal Palace) in 1961.

Edward Browne asks:

What is the oldest football club in the world?

Sheffield AFC is the oldest football club of all, formed in 1855. No connection with Sheffield Wednesday, formed in 1867, or Sheffield United (1889).

Robert Grant asks:

Has any team ever won the F.A Cup and been relegated in the same season?

No, but four losing Finalists at Wembley have gone down: Manchester City in 1926, Leicester in 1969, Brighton in 1983 and Middlesbrough in 1997.

Mary O'Dwyer asks:

Is Peter Shilton the only goalkeeper to score from a goal-kick?

Shilton is one of four goalkeepers who have scored in the League with long clearances. The others: Ray Cashley, for Bristol City v Hull (Div 2, September 1973); Steve Sherwood (Watford away to Coventry, Div 1, January 1984) and Steve Ogrizovic (Coventry away to Sheffield Wednesday, Div 1, October 1986).

Cousin Barry asks:

In which year was the first English League match played on an artificial pitch?

QPR were the first British club to install an artificial playing pitch in 1981, followed by Luton in 1985, Oldham and Preston in 1986. It was one of football's "bright ideas" that didn't last. QPR went back to grass in 1988, Oldham and Luton in 1991 (when the pitches were banned in Div 1) and Preston in 1994.

David Lund Yates ask:

In a championship/promotion/relegation situation, what happens if the teams involved finish with identical stats and the games between them were drawn?

It hasn't happened yet, but if and when it does, stand by for a play-off. There is only one instance of two clubs in one division finishing a season with identical records, in 1907-08 (Div 1). Blackburn Rovers and Woolwich Arsenal were equal 14th, each with these figures: P38, W12, D12, L14, Goals 51-63, Points 36.

Alan Charlton Vincent of the Isle of Man asks:

How many players can be sent off before a game is abandoned?

Nowadays, according to Fifa rules, a match would be abandoned if either side was left with fewer than 7 players. In a First Division match at Blackpool in October 1932, Chelsea finished with only 6 men on the field. In appalling conditions; sheets of rain, snow and a north-westerly gale, one after the other of the visiting players collapsed, so that when 90 minutes were up, Blackpool had beaten the 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6 men of Chelsea 4-nil.

Sam from England asks:

What is the lowest-ever attendance at a top-division match in England?

The smallest such gathering since the war was 3,039 for Wimbledon v Everton on January 26, 1993. Judged by the full houses at most Premiership games these days, it's going to be a long time before Wimbledon lose that distinction!

Confused of England asks:

I thought that the ban on a red card was for the following game. So how could Arsenal's Viera be sent off, play the next match, be sent off again and still play the game after that?

Under FA disciplinary rules, suspensions do not take effect until 14 days after a sending off. It's different in Scotland, where a player sent off is banned immediately. Viera's 5-match ban started on September 6th.

David from the UK asks:

Who did Chelsea beat to win the Charity Shield in 1955?

I remember it well....I was there! That match, pre-floodlights, was on a Wednesday afternoon at Stamford Bridge (Sept 14, 1955) and 12,802 saw Chelsea, League Champions for still the only time, best FA Cup-holders Newcastle 3-nil. The goals, all in the second half, came from an Alf McMichael own goal, Chelsea captain Roy Bentley and winger Frank Blunstone.

Mamuana of India asks:

If in a penalty shoot-out the ball hits the woodwork, rebounds against the 'keeper and then goes over the line, is it a goal?

No. If a shot goes directly in vis the woodwork, it's a goal, but not if the ball hits the post and then the 'keeper (ie if it changes direction off the woodwork).

Alan Knox of the Netherlands asks:

Are all the leagues in Europe using the new rules which allow the referee to advance the free-kick by ten yards and demand that the goalkeeper must release the ball in six seconds?

The six second goalkeeper rule has been introduced worldwide by Fifa since 1 July. The ten-yard rule is being experimented with only in England this season. Fifa will subsequently decide whether to make this rule universal.

John from England asks:

At the moment Leeds United are the only team in the Premiership with a 100% record. What is the longest winning start in any of the English leagues?

In the "old" First Division Tottenham Hotspur started with 11 straight wins in the 1960/61 season, when they went on to do the Double. Newcastle United also won their opening 11 matches in the "new" First Division in 1992/93.

Frank Carroll of England asks:

I have a 50 bet hanging on this: Did Bryan Robson play any part in the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy? I think he did and was injured in the initial group phase.

Collect your bet. Robson played in the first two group games of that World Cup, but was injured against Holland and missed the rest of the tournament.

Gareth Roberts from Wales asks:

How much are referees paid in the Premiership and Nationwide League?

Premiership referees' match fees have been increased to 900 (from 600 last season). Their assistants (linesmen as we used to know them) get 225 per game. In the Nationwide League, referees receive 195, the same as last season.

Simon from Manchester asks:

Who is the first player to represent five clubs in the Premiership?

Carlton Palmer. He's appeared in the Premiership for Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Coventry.

Matthew from England asks:

Which club has won the PFA Fair Play Trophy the most times?

This award began in 1988 and has been known as the Bobby Moore Trophy since 1993. Dario Grady's well-behaved Crewe have won it most times - five - and are the present holders.

Alan McCafferty from Ireland asks:

Who is the youngest player to appear in the FA Cup final?

The youngest ever was Clapham Rovers' James Princep, aged 17 years, 245 days in the 1879 final against Old Etonians. The youngest professional to play in the final was West Ham's Paul Allen, who was 17 years 256 days when he played against Arsenal in 1980.

Ibar Murphy from England asks:

Has any club with a negative goal difference ever finished higher in the Premiership than West Ham's fifth in 1988/89

Yes. Norwich City hold the record as the highest finishing Premiership club with a negative goal difference. They came third in 1992/93 with a goal record of 61 for and 65 against.

Paul Williams from Britain asks:

What happened to ex-Arsenal player Gus Caesar who broke into the side at about the same time as Tony Adams?

Gus and Tony both signed professional forms at Highbury in 1983. Caesar made 44 First Division appearances for Arsenal, subsequently played for QPR (on loan), Bristol City and finally in Scotland for Aidrieonians.

Conor Devine from Ireland asks:

What was the very first game shown on Match of the Day?

It was 36 years ago on August 22, 1964, when highlights of Liverpool 3-2 Arsenal were shown on BBC 2. It was in black and white and screened at 6.30pm. The commentator was Kenneth Wolstenholme, now 80 and still a big footie fan.

Mark Ford from England asks:

Regarding the new '10-yard rule', does the referee award a penalty if the ball is advanced into the penalty area?

No, it remains a free-kick (not a penalty). The kick cannot be advanced closer than six yards to the goal-line.

Benson Droem from Norway asks:

What happens if a player needs the toilet during play - can the referee let him go and then come back onto the pitch?

Yes, but on his return, the player must wait on the touchline to be signalled back into the game by the referee. If he returns to the field without such permission, he will be cautioned.

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19 Feb 01 |  Sports Talk
Ask Albert - Number 4
19 Feb 01 |  Sports Talk
Ask Albert - Number 3
19 Feb 01 |  Sports Talk
Ask Albert - Number 2
19 Feb 01 |  Sports Talk
Ask Albert - Number 1
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